Photo: Joseph Fell
Patients in Canberra's emergency departments are waiting up to 28 minutes longer for treatment than patients in other states.
The ACT's median waiting time for emergency care increased to 44 minutes in 2012-13, from 38 minutes in 2011-12.
The figures are found in an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report to be published on Friday.
South Australia and New South Wales were the best performing jurisdictions, with median waiting times of 16 minutes and 17 minutes respectively.
The territory's median wait time, the worst of any jurisdiction, was most closely followed by the Northern Territory at 35 minutes. The national median was 19 minutes.
The report shows 51 per cent of ACT patients were seen on time in 2012-13, the worst of any jurisdiction. In NSW, 78 per cent of patients were seen on time.
The health directorate's annual report for 2012-13, published last month, showed the territory had gone backwards on waiting-time performance since 2011-12, when 55 per cent of emergency patients were seen on time. The target set for 2012-13 was 70 per cent.
The ACT also had the lowest number of emergency department visits completed within four hours, with 57 per cent of cases meeting that benchmark.
Western Australia, at 77 per cent, was the highest performing state or territory in that category.
ACT Health Director-General Peggy Brown said the territory's performance would improve. But she said that comparing timeliness across jurisdictions was problematic because hospitals could measure those figures in different ways.
''There's always been that slight doubt as to whether everybody is reporting exactly the same thing,'' Dr Brown said.
''The clock stops depending on the method of intervention.
''For example, Panadol doesn't count but Panadeine does.
''And that's always the challenge with these statistics - whether or not we're comparing apples with apples.''
Dr Brown said ACT emergency departments performed better when they were compared to hospitals of a similar size in other states and territories.
In 2012-13, the ACT had 118,931 emergency department presentations.
Men and women aged 15-24 and 25-34 accounted for the greatest number of emergency department visits in the report.